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Many pregnant women do not seek medical attention for their back pain because they believe it’s just a “normal” part of pregnancy. It’s important to know that dealing with grueling pain that prevents you from accomplishing day-to-day tasks is anything but normal, even when you’re pregnant. Studies on pregnant women have discovered that a staggering 69% of women will suffer from low back pain during pregnancy, with the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis being most commonly affected. Wang, S. M., et al. (2004). “Low back pain during pregnancy: prevalence, risk factors, and outcomes.” Obstet Gynecol 104(1): 65-70.
During pregnancy, there are many changes that occur in the expectant mother’s body to create the environment for the developing baby. As the baby develops, increasing strain is placed on the mother’s body, especially on the low back and pelvis. The following changes in can result in stress to the mother’s spine:
- Uterus enlarges and expands forward
- Pelvic position changes
- Protruding abdomen and an increased back curve
- Posture changes
- Hormonal changes lead to increased ligament laxity, and joint instability
Benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy
- Drug free approach
- Treatment of pelvic instability
- Maintaining a healthy pregnancy
- Relieving back, neck, mid-back or joint pain
- Chest pain from expanding abdomen
Chiropractic care can be performed from preconception, right through to post labor.
Is Chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy. The Chiropractors at Chiropractic Solutions have been trained to work with pregnant women, and use tables that adjust for a pregnant woman’s body and use techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen. We utilise a number of different techniques including adjustments, mobilization and soft tissue therapies that are appropriate for pregnant patients.
Research of the effectiveness of Chiropractic care
A 2014 prospective cohort study examined the effects of Chiropractic treatment on low back pain during pregnancy. After one week of care, 52% said they had already noticed improvements; that percentage jumped to 70% after 1 month; and eventually to 85% after three months. Patients showed significant reductions in pain and disability, as measured by NRS and Oswestry scores, respectively. These results add to previous findings from a randomized, controlled trial published in 2013 in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Patients enrolled in this study had significant back pain at 24-28 weeks’ gestation, and were randomly assigned to receive either chiropractic care or standard medical care. At 33 weeks’ gestation, those in the chiropractic group had significant reductions in pain and disability, while the standard medical care patients did not.
Peterson, C. K., et al. (2014). “Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term and 1 year follow-up.” Chiropr Man Therap 22(1): 15. George, J. W., et al. (2013). “A randomized controlled trial comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy.” Am J Obstet Gynecol 208(4): 295.e291-297.
Chiropractic care has also been shown to reduce labor time for women who had care during their pregnancy. Dr. Joan Fallon found first time mothers had a 24% shorter labor, while mothers who had given birth previously had a 39% reduction in labor time! Borggren, C. L. (2007). “Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature.” J Chiropr Med 6(2): 70-74.
To read more about the research of Chiropractic and pregnancy, please read This Article.